Western Banded Gecko

Western Banded Gecko

Scientific Name: Coleonyx variegatus
Classification: Reptile
Size: Total length – about 4 to 6 inches



Western banded geckos have soft, pliable, translucent skin, fine granular scales, short limbs, large eyes with movable eyelids and vertical pupils, slender toes, and a pointed snout. The tail may be wide from stored fat and constricted at the base. The body and tail are pinkish to pale yellow and marked with brown bands that are more distinct in juveniles and tend to look more mottled and spotted in adults. The underside is white. Males have prominent spurs on each side of the base of the tail.



Western banded geckos are found in a variety of habitats including rocky areas, creosote bush and sagebrush desert, sand dunes, chaparral, and pinyon-juniper woodland.



The range covers the southwestern united states and northern mexico in the mojave and sonoran deserts as well as islands off the coast of baja california, mexico and in the gulf of mexico.


Natural History:

Western banded geckos are nocturnal and most active just after dark. They are inactive in very cold, and very hot, dry weather. When inactive, western banded geckos take shelter under rocks, debris, in crevices, or underground. Fat is stored in the tail to sustain the lizards through hibernation. The tail breaks off easily as a predator defense, and re-grows quickly. Males often squeak or chirp when captured or when defending their territories against other males. The geckos extend their legs and wave their tails over their backs when threatened.


Food habits:

The diet includes insects and spiders.



1 to 3 clutches of 2 eggs are laid from may to september and hatch in about 45 days from july to november.



Western banded geckos are currently state unprotected in nevada. They are listed as a covered species in the clark county multiple species habitat conservation plan.


Reason for Status:

This species could potentially be impacted by habitat degradation and commercial collection.


Management & Conservation:

Western banded geckos are the subject of an ongoing specific mark and recapture study in the red rock canyon national recreation area in southern nevada to determine population trends and densities in that area, species richness as compared to other species in the area, and basic species information.


Fun Facts:

Often, western banded geckos consume their own skin after shedding it.